Open Handset Alliance

NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 to support Miracast wireless HD streaming standard

The folks that brought Wi-Fi to the world, the Wi-Fi Alliance, is preparing the next step of Wireless media consumption with Miracast certification. Allowing Miracast certified devices to wirelessly stream movies, photos, games and more all to your HDTV. It's like mirror mode only wireless. NVIDIA's been hard at work making this not only be an option, but deeply integrated into their quad-core Tegra 3 powered devices.

Android Community 101: Android Licensing

There's been a bit of confusion on the part of everyone from the highest ranked "who is not to be named" official working for a manufacturer to the lowliest developer of apps and writer of posts on what it means for a company to have their product "licensed" with Google. One of the more popular ideas is that for a manufacturer to release a product with Android mobile OS working on it, they MUST go through Google to have it licensed and approved. This thought process lead to a rather large firestorm of fear that Android was going "closed-source." You can read all about that nightmare in a column called Android Remains Open, Android Remains Powerful, or you can continue on below to know the truth behind licensing.

Sprint finally accepts Android

Despite Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse claiming Android is not good enough for the Sprint name, they are ready to welcome an Android-powered handset sometime in the next year.  Looks like someone is eating his words and coming back with his tail between his legs, contradicting himself less than two months after making the statement that Android is ”not good enough to put the Sprint brand on it.” Last time I head Sprint was seeing substantial losses while Google is seeing tremendous growth. Sprint executives are closely monitoring the progress of the T-Mobile G1 and waiting for the right time to “pull the trigger." After sustaining a loss of almost 3 million customers in a single year, Sprint must look beyond what they are currently doing (putting down Android) and open up to new ideas. Taking on a new platform such as Android could really help them out in this time of need.
"We've just got to make sure our customers are saying, 'If you had a phone like this, man, I would really be more interested in Sprint because of it,' " Packingham said. "You want to go out with a bang, because you believe that your investment is one that's going to generate a lot of return with customers -- new customers. That's what our shareholders are looking for.”
Many happy Sprint customers would hate making the jump to another carrier for an Android-powered handset, but if Sprint does not produce one, some of the 50.5 million customers may have no choice. Chief Service Officer Bob Johnson said that Sprint may close as many as 20 call centers next year to help the company recuperate. [Via Seattlypi]

Sony Ericsson Android by summer 2009?

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the 14 new additions to the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), most of which comes back to one manufacturer, Sony Ericsson. We are surprised that not too many people have been talking about the laptop manufacturers Toshiba and Asus who have just joined. With the release of the popular (and expensive) Xperia X1, Ericsson shows a lot of potential for high-end Android-powered handsets. We all know that those who are looking for open source want anything but your average run of the mill phone. Sony Ericsson spokesman, Garfield Brusewitz said, “We expect initially to focus on products in the higher segment, but later on we will also supplement with products for the broad mass market.” They do not plan to focus just on Android however, much effort will be placed in Symbian and Windows Mobile. Investing in Android early on would be a very wise decision as it is still very small and possesses plenty of potential. Ericsson believes that Android in the future will be important to be a part of their lineup. Ericsson plans to release a series of Android-powered handsets, the first of which will launch around summer of 2009. [Via IDG]

The Open Handset Alliance adds 14 new members to help develop Android

The Open Handset Alliance is very pleased to announce the addition of 14 supporting companies. The members of the Open Handset Alliance show their support for Android as an open mobile platform. We can expect these companies to further develop Android handsets and services. The new members include, AKM Semiconductor Inc., ARM, ASUSTek Computer Inc., Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International Inc., Huawei Technologies, Omron Software Co. Ltd, Softbank Mobile Corporation, Sony Ericsson, Teleca AB, Toshiba Corporation and Vodafone. Many companies overseas have jumped onboard a little later than we had expected. These new members will develop Android-powered handsets, contribute significant code to the open source project, or support the “ecosystem” by providing supporting services. We are really glad to see Ericsson and Vodafone among others joining the Open Handset Alliance. Who we really would like to see Nokia jump on board with handsets comparable to their N-series.

Android Source-Code released: Google keep Open-Source promise

Google have, as promised, released the Android source-code for their mobile platform.  Timed to coincide with the launch of the T-Mobile G1, the first commercially released Android device, the source-code will allow developers and OEMs to create software and new devices.  In addition, Google are hoping that the software community will feed back into the Android project, adding fresh functionality and driving platform innovation. Until now, access to the Android SDK was limited to certain developers and testers; from now, however, it will available to anybody who wishes to download it.  The move stands in complete contrast to Apple, whose iPhone OS is both a closed environment and a strongly guarded one.  Google, however, are actively encouraging coders to manipulate, change and improve the Android source-code; indeed, some functionality, including on on-screen QWERTY keyboard, will not be present in Android v.1 out of the box, and require a third-party to develop. You can access the Android source-code, together with documentation and support, at http://source.android.com/.  Don't forget, if it's help with coding, ideas for what new features would be popular, or talk about Android and the G1 that you're looking for, you'll find it in the Android Community forums. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y4thikv-OM[/youtube] Press Release:
Google and the Open Handset Alliance Announce Android Open Source Availability Today, Google and the Open Handset Alliance announced the availability of the Android platform source code to everyone, for free, under the new Android Open Source Project. This represents the first truly open and fully featured mobile platform which will enable people to create a mobile device without restrictions, build applications that run on Android powered devices, and contribute to the core platform. As an open source project, anyone can contribute to Android and influence its direction. It means that anyone can download, build, and run the code needed to create a complete mobile device. With an open source platform, developers, OEMs, carriers and code contributors are given the opportunity to build faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services. Android is a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Having an open source mobile platform will dramatically reduce the time and resources required to bring mobile devices to market. Handset manufactures can access a complete, full featured mobile stack without any barriers and get a head-start in creating as contemporary a device that they want to build. Developers for the first time can contribute code, with a full set APIs that allows the platform to host applications written by third-party developers and carriers can offer faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services. "Open source allows everyone and anyone equal access to the ideas and innovation that can make good products great," said Andy Rubin, senior director of mobile platforms, Google. "An open sourced mobile platform, that's constantly being improved upon by the community and is available for everyone to use, speeds innovation, is an engine of economic opportunity and provides a better mobile experience for users. With the availability of Android to the open source community, consumers will start to see more applications like location-based travel tools, games and social networking offerings available to them directly; cheaper and faster phones at lower costs; and a better mobile web experience through 3G networks with richer screens. The code can be found under the Android Open Source Project, the open source initiative for Android now available at source.android.com.

TechFaith working hard on an Android-powered handset

China’s TechFaith Wireless Communication Technology Ltd has finally announced their plans to release a Commercial Android-powered handset in early 2009. TechFaith helps handset manufacturers with phone design solutions; their clients include Open Handset Alliance member Motorola as well as LG, Amoi, CECT, France Telecom, SK Telecom, Sprint and Bird.

TechFaith mainly focuses their development on China’s phone market; they're expected to announce the name of the manufacturer by the end of November. “We are still in talks with several interested customers,” Changxi said. Could there be a few leading companies in a bidding war over this? “The development of a prototype Android phone has basically been completed. However, the launch of commercial products is unlikely to happen before the end of this year,” claimed Ji Changxi, a senior vice president of TechFaith. With recent news of Motorola working hard on an Android-powered handset so early on, this makes the chances of the two companies working together very likely. I know many of people would like to see Motorola step up and create the next big device to rise above the RAZR. Having an Android-powered handset this early on could really give Motorola a huge boost in the wireless market. Let's keep our fingers crossed. [Via Interfaxchina]

Motorola Confirms Development with Android

Motorola have confirmed that they are working on products for Android in a statement made to BetaNews this morning. However, no comment was made in reference to rumors of expanding their Android development team from 50 to 350. This official confirmation comes as no great surprise; Motorola has been one of the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) since its launch back in November of 2007.

"We're excited about the innovation possibilities on Android, and [we] look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA)," a Motorola spokesperson said, in a statement to BetaNews. Motorola refuses to comment on any specific projects they are working on. Android is the perfect opportunity for Motorola to bounce back, still not having a successor to the infamous RAZR. Since then, Motorola continues to sell phones like the Motorola Q that run Microsoft's Windows Mobile, but now are venturing into the Linux phone market with the announcement of the U9, a phone supporting the Linux Mobile Foundation (LiMo) platform. "Motorola has long been an advocate of open software for mobile platforms. Today, we're excited to continue this support by joining Google and others in the announcement of the Open Handset Alliance and Android platform. Motorola plans to leverage the Android platform to enable seamless, connected services and rich consumer experiences in future Motorola products," according to Zander. Photo created by Android Community member heyitsnan [Via BetaNews]

T-Mobile G1 hands-on: Award-Winning Android App feature ShopSavvy

We had a little bit of time today to get an exclusive one on one time with the G1 for our Android Community members, at a special developers event held in Dallas. The company behind Google Application Challenge award winning app ShopSavvy, Big In Japan - were there, demonstrating the software in action on a G1.

The G1 phone was quick and responsive as when we played with it at the launch event last week. We were able to get hands on time with the full version of ShopSavvy. We scanned a barcode (for demonstration purposes, a Logitech webcam) and were able to compare prices online as well as at many stores in the area. No word on when the application will be released, or if it will be a free application or one in which you must purchase. We can imagine it would be particularly useful for all the Christmas shopping coming up over the next few months.  One particularly useful feature is price alert, allowing you to save products to a wish-list that updates you when the product is discounted into your pre-set price range. Check out the video interview we did with Big In Japan here. [gallery]
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